Just back from terrific weekend away for our Winter Retreat 2012. Exploring Aiki through the medium of food, friendship, nature and Aikido as well. Kumijo is a difficult kata to learn and even more difficult to teach, but with regular food breaks and lots of mountain air it seemed to just work. Some pictures are up on Facebook (see Aikido Winter retreat 2012 photos page)
Undertaking learning the Kumijo kata in a weekend was a big task, but with willing aikidoka it just seemed to work. The approach was to explore kumijo at kotai (static level) first. In this approach all strikes are allowed to make contact on ones partner before they are allowed to move. This ensure correct ma-ai for strikes and discovery of the correct place to move to to response. This in turn develops correct timing and an understanding of the martial roots of the kata (which really helps our aikido development). By avoiding the temptation of practicing at a flowing level first up, paradoxically developed a nice Kumijo under movement later on in the weekend – but with out the tendency to become a dance. We’ll release a Kotai video soon but for now the Aikido Yuishinkai syllabus DVD filmed by dojo member Simon Russell has a preview of the kata performed by Williams Sensei on youtube
Thankyou to our hosts Brendon and Kristie and the naughty chef for making it all possible.